Apparent Murder-Suicide Takes Life of Teen, Stepfather
Shooting at Home Followed Domestic Dispute
Last updated 4/11/2023 at 5:20pm
An apparent murder-suicide on Lindsey Place in the Highland Pointe subdivision early Monday morning was triggered by an overnight domestic dispute, according to an initial police investigation.
According to Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez, a call to 911 at 4:08 am reporting a domestic disturbance brought a police response that determined that an armed suspect was inside a home. Two young girls, 16 and 14 years old, were able to flee the home as police arrived.
Police attempted to negotiate with the suspect using a public address system, but he refused to leave the home. He eventually responded to requests that he call 911 himself, and begged police not to fire into the home as there were children inside. Police believed he was using children as a shield, a hostage situation.
Law enforcement at that time believed they could resolve the situation without violence He also asked police to shoot him. They refused.
"Our goal was to resolve this peacefully," Velasquez said. The woman who called 911 had requested only that police come to assist in removing the children from the home. Residents in the neighborhood were in a lock-down situation during the incident.
After a nearly three-hour standoff, police heard a single gunshot. They immediately rushed into the home and found 40-year-old Antonio Oliver just inside the front door, dead of a single gunshot wound.
"The only gunshot we heard was when he took his own life," Velasquez said. "That's what we do, that's what we're trained to do."
In a rear bedroom they found the body of a 19-year-old who had been shot. He was the stepson of Oliver.
"What these people experienced, nobody should have to experience," Velasquez said.
It was also reported that the suspect had a large collections of guns, including "drums" of ammunition. "He could have created a war," according to Sheriff Grady Judd, who also said that the incident followed a "party" on Sunday evening.
Velasquez said that Oliver had a "light" criminal record.
The investigation is ongoing, but police continued to refer to the incident as a murder-suicide.